In August 2015, the DFA National Executive met in Canberra for our annual conference. It was an opportunity for the Executive to meet and discuss regional feedback from families across Australia. The conference is held annually by the DFA Executive Committee and provides a forum for open communication between Defence families, Australian Defence Force (ADF) leaders and family support providers. The conference is designed to raise awareness of current issues affecting Defence members and their families. Topics discussed included the importance of communication to families during deployment and absence from home plus an increased commitment to monitoring the wellbeing of Defence families. During the conference DFA met with the Minister for Defence The Hon. Kevin Andrews MP, Assistant Minister for Defence The Hon. Stuart Robert MP, Chief of Defence ACM Mark Binskin and Service Chiefs, representatives from Defence Community Organisation (DCO), Defence Housing Australia (DHA), TOLL Transitions and other Defence-related organisations. The Conference gave us the opportunity to represent the views of families to key stakeholders and discuss these issues with Defence policy makers. Assistant Minister for Defence, Stuart Robert, addressed delegates at the annual Defence Families of Australia (DFA) conference dinner. In his address, Mr Robert emphasised the value of DFA and the direct impact of their efforts in representing the views of Defence families to Defence and the Government. “Defence’s greatest asset is the committed and dedicated men and women who serve Australia’s national interests. However it is the strength, resilience and courage of the families supporting our military members that helps make the Australian Defence Force a powerful and enduring organisation,” Mr Robert said. Defence families face many challenges as a result of the military lifestyle.
The Defence Families of Australia Conference report is now available http://www.dfa.org.au/advocacy/2015